Poland: 2 Jewish cemeteries vandalized amid diplomatic crisis between Polish ultra-nationalist gov and Israel
Two Jewish cemeteries have been vandalized in Poland amid a fresh diplomatic crisis between the Polish ultra-nationalist government and Israel over the active role of Poland in the Nazi atrocities.
A huge white inscription “Jesus is the king” was spray-painted by neo-Nazi vandals on the wall of the historic New Jewish Cemetery in Wroclaw.
Residents of the area joined the call by Robert Wagner, a social activist, and removed the graffiti.
In another incident, the Jewish cemetery in Świdnica was vandalized. Neo-Nazis devasted 15 gravestones, tearing them from the ground, breaking and writing out slogans with black spray.
The Ambassador of Israel in Poland, Anna Azari, has been summoned for the second time this week after acting Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz quoted former prime minister Yitzhak Shamir as saying that “Poles suckle antisemitism from their mothers’ milk”.
“I am a son of Holocaust survivors and I was even born and grew up in a community made up of Holocaust survivors. The memory of the Holocaust is something we cannot compromise about; it is clear and we won’t forget or forgive.
“In diplomacy, you try not to offend, but nobody will change the historical truth to do something like that. Poles collaborated with the Nazis, definitely. As Yitzhak Shamir said, they suckle anti-Semitism with their mother’s milk.”
Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on Sunday canceled his trip to Israel for the Weisgrad summit over comments made by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“Here I am saying Poles cooperated with the Nazis. I know the history and I don’t whitewash it. I bring it up,” Netanyahu said Thursday at the Warsaw conference on the Middle East.
Netanyahu made the remark in response to a question regarding the Holocaust denial law, in which the current Polish ultra-nationalist government attempts to rewrite history and downplay the collaboration of Poles with the Nazis during World War II.
Last year, Polish lawmakers voted to water down the Holocaust denial law following pressure from Israel and the United States, and removed parts that imposed jail terms on people who mention Poland’s active role in the Holocaust and make the use of phrases such as “Polish Death Camps” to refer to the Polish death camps, punishable.